Scottish Daily Mail

My 1lb 4oz miracle baby boy turns one

- SYMA DAWSON, Bromley, SE London.

MY BABY boy, Harrison, was born at 23 weeks and two days at St Thomas’ Hospital in London and turns a year old on Saturday. He weighed 575g (1lb 4oz) at birth, but dropped to 420g (14.8oz) the following week. After going through what we did, I agree the abortion threshold of 24 weeks needs to be revised. We were so fortunate to have a doctor at a critical time who told us: ‘I believe in Harrison.’ My waters broke at 22 weeks — no one has been able to tell me why — and after five days in hospital I was told they had to deliver my baby because sepsis was setting into my womb. After he was delivered, the doctors were agreeing among themselves that they had done everything they could. But my partner, Seamus, begged them to keep going and Harrison was taken to the neonatal unit. He was baptised at three days old and every week we had visits from the chaplaincy. The Rev Sue’s prayers were so personal to Harrison’s condition. Those visits gave me so much hope and strength at a time when my partner and I had to take turns to be with our baby because of Covid rules. I was told at the start that Harrison’s journey would be a rollercoas­ter. At three weeks, he needed emergency bowel surgery. The surgeon’s judgment and incredible skill saved my son’s life. The only time we were all allowed to be together was when he was at the cliff edge when his lungs were failing. The steroids that helped him overcome chronic lung disease triggered a heart condition. This is the type of balancing act that neonatal doctors and nurses have to manage every day. Every night I’d call the hospital at 10pm, 2am and 6am for updates from the night nurse. However, one night the doctor came on the phone at 2am to tell me Harrison had an infection, but they’d caught it early. She said she’d call if anything changed. At 5am, my phone rang and we were told to come in. That night will haunt me for ever. We raced to the hospital and I burst into the room asking: ‘Is he alive?’ I nearly collapsed when they said he was. Harrison fought that infection and many others. Several times we had to pull the emergency cord because he would turn blue and stop breathing or his heart rate would drop dramatical­ly. After six months in intensive care, Harrison was transferre­d to our local hospital, where he spent a month before he came home last September on oxygen support and a nasogastri­c feeding tube. It was a different kind of rollercoas­ter at home. Sometimes I felt more like a nurse than a mum. Now he no longer needs additional oxygen and I am so happy to see my little boy smile. I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the incredible staff at St Thomas’ Hospital’s neonatal unit for saving Harrison. It was a team effort from the doctors, nurses, surgeons, chaplaincy, physio, dieticians, pharmacist­s, respirator­y team, counsellor­s, reception staff and ward clerks.

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 ?? ?? Born battler: Tiny Harrison in the neonatal unit. Right: Full of life today
Born battler: Tiny Harrison in the neonatal unit. Right: Full of life today

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